Monday, July 28, 2014

Ham and Leek Tart

Ham and Leek Tart is one of my all time favorite savory tarts.  I love the golden flaky free form crust and the filling is divine!  It's a simple filling consisting of a good quality baked ham from the deli and fresh leeks sliced and sauteed in butter and white wine.  It's a lovely combination and it most certainly will impress!  

Ham and Leek Tart
Serves 4
For the filling...
1 pound fresh leeks, cleaned, trimmed and sliced 
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 lb baked ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
For the pastry...
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter, well chilled
6 tablespoons ice water approximately
For the glaze...
1 egg
2 tablespoons heavy cream

To make the filling, melt the butter in a medium sized skillet.  Add the sliced leeks and cook over medium heat stirring to coat leeks with butter.  Continue cooking until leeks begin to wilt.  Add the ham, wine and seasonings, cover the pan reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture until the leeks are very tender about half an hour.  Most of the liquid should be evaporated at this point, if not, remove cover and cook another 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
Beat the egg yolk and the cream together and add to the mixture, stirring well.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow to cool.

To make the pastry, combine the flour and salt together in a chilled bowl.  Working quickly, cut the butter into the flour leaving bits of flour coated butter.  Add only enough ice water to form a dough.  Gather dough into a ball and on a floured work table shape into an even rectangle.  Wrap and chill for 1/2 an hour. 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To assemble the tart, roll the pastry out on a floured work surface, to a slightly larger 12 inch square, then trimming to an even 12 inch square.  Cut into two pieces, one 12X7 inches, the other 12X5 inches.  Place the larger rectangle on a parchment lined baking pan.

Spread the cooled filling to within an inch of the boarder of the larger sheet. Cut a 1/2 inch square out of each corner of the rectangle.  
Make several 3 inch horizontal slashes 1 inch apart in the smaller rectangle and carefully place it over the filling.

Mix the egg and the heavy cream for the glaze.  Brush the edges of the bottom crust with the glaze and turn up the edges to overlap the top crust.  Press to seal.

Brush the top of the tart with the glaze and place in the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and brush again with the glaze and resume baking for another 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Tart may be served hot from the oven or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

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